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Live Picks (Dec '19): Gig Picks by Sam Gregory

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Xhosa Cole

As ever, Sheffield's independent venues offer a variety of ways to see in the New Year. At The Showroom, catch classic Gene Kelly flick Singin' In The Rain before a roaring twenties party in the bar, complete with a live swing band. If jazz standards are a bit schmaltzy for you, Corp play host to the usual heavy metal mayhem, while Jabbarwocky have the Planet Zogg crew over for a free party.

Haggler's Corner promise house party vibes at their two-room bash, with other smaller parties taking place at Foodhall and The Dorothy Pax. Meanwhile The Leadmill are going all out with three rooms of indie bangers, eighties anthems and the biggest tunes of the last decade. Oh, and not related at all, but remember to vote on 12 December.

Xhosa Cole Quartet

Wed 4 Dec | Lescar | £9 (£5 concs)

Tenor sax player and BBC Young Jazz Musician 2018 Xhosa Cole has put together a killer quartet for this Jazz at the Lescar gig, with bass player James Owston, veteran drummer Jim Bashford and Canadian trumpet superstar Jay Phelps. Not one to miss.

Kate Rusby

Wed 4 Dec | City Hall | £35.15 (£25 under 16s)

Barnsley folk singer Kate Rusby's annual show at the City Hall has by now become a Christmas tradition. As well as her own compositions she'll be singing from the repertoire of Sheffield carols (more about that on page 39), along with songs from her fifth Christmas album, Holly Head.

Rave & Raise's Christmas Cracker

Fri 6 Dec | Night Kitchen | £10.10

This drum'n'bass, garage and bassline night is raising money for St Wilfrid's Centre, a charity that supports homeless, vulnerable and socially excluded adults. DJs include Chimpo, Multiplex and Taiko, alongside the Rave & Raise residents, with Sinai and RAZE supplying the soundsystems.

Barang!

Fri 6 Dec | DINA | £6.10

The Barang! gang have been bringing an intoxicating mix of global club sounds to Sheffield for three years now. For their birthday bash they've invited soca dons Dub Boy and Atki2 up from Bristol, alongside residents spinning gqom, kuduro and techno. An extra £7 gets you a delicious vegan-friendly dinner before the dance.

The Wedding Present

Fri 6 Dec | Leadmill | £22

The Wedding Present are celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of their unparalleled second album, Bizarro, an angst-ridden rollercoaster ride through the affairs and unrequited attractions of perpetually lovelorn singer David Gedge.

Arch Alcohol of Song: New Duos

Sun 8 Dec | Hatch | £5 (£3 concs)

Joining Singing Knives founder Jon Marshall is Shakeeb Abu Hamdan, a Beirut artist who uses drums, collected metals, bells and cymbals augmented with low-tech electronics. Also at this afternoon gig, Luke Poot and Murray Royston-Ward improvise with contact mics, oscillators and Dead Sea salt crystals.

Laura Cox

Thu 12 Dec | Corporation | £8

With influences ranging from Sheryl Crow to bearded barflys ZZ Top, French guitarist Laura Cox has amassed an enormous YouTube following for her original songs and fresh takes on hard rock classics. She's now heading out on the road with the Laura Cox Band, supporting sophomore album Burning Bright.

Arch Garrison and Emily Jones

Sat 14 Dec | Dorothy Pax | £8.85 (£6.76 concs)

Musical director of the North Sea Radio Orchestra Craig Fortnam presents his new solo project for Buds & Spawn, singing songs about England's ancient landscapes, its Roman roads, ditches and mounds. He's joined by Salisbury songwriter Emily Jones and our own Little Robots, who present the sounds of Appalachia via Sheffield.

Cool Beans Xmas Bash

Wed 18 Dec | Yellow Arch | £5.50

The Cool Beans roadshow rolls into town, headlined by Boomtown veterans Smiling Ivy playing a blend of ska, punk and hip-hop. Alongside indie group Spit n Strings, this festive knees-up will feature sketches, aerobics, panpipes and "the most extreme game of pass the parcel you have ever seen".

The Vivienne

Thu 19 Dec | Foundry | £7.70

New LGBT night Grapefruit invites RuPaul winner The Vivienne for a night of lip-sync, live performance and the acerbic humour so particular to British drag. Afterwards, Fruit n Juice's Cherry B will be spinning dancehall, disco and queer bangers so shantay, you stay. Open to all.

Next article in issue 141

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